Wow is a good word to describe this trek. Its around 110 miles (170km) and has an altitude gain of around 32808ft (10,000 meters), its very well sign posted and you will visit three different countries on this trek.
I did the TMB in 2019 and I was left speechless by the majesty of the scenery. Everyday was magnificent views which really helped distract from the aching legs and painful feet caused by the constant elevation gain and loss.
The trail lulls you in to a false sense of security with the trail markers the tell you how far you are in time from the next point, so you’ll see a marker that says next town 3hrs10mins then you get in to the town 4 and a half hours later wondering how it took you so long, you will soon realize that it was actually superman that worked out the times and you will ignore them for the rest of the trail. Another thing that people quickly learn is that they have over estimated the trail, i’m an experienced hiker and about 8 weeks before going out to do the TMB I did another 100 mile trail in preparation, it had half the elevation gain of the TMB but i did carry more weight and was fine on that trail, but the first day on the TMB was hard for me. It could have been from the first day having a fair amount of elevation gain or it could have been the heat but I knew if I didn’t start taking it easier I would be burning out quickly!
Unlike most who do the TMB as a hut to hut trail I opted for the freedom of stopping where I wanted and carried my one person tent. This meant there was never any pressure on my to reach huts by a certain time or risk losing my bed for the night. With the tent I could go further than I had planned or I could take an extra day off if I wanted which I did do at one point. A lot of people told me I would be missing out on a lot of the camaraderie on the trail this way but I honestly don’t believe I did miss out, on the first camp site everyone got talking and introduced themselves and most people were planning on doing the same distance and camping at the same sites most nights so a tramily was born. We eat breakfast together packed up and went off on our own only to see each other through the day then eventually we would all meet up in the evening for a nice meal together. One thing the tramily did agree on is that it was nice not having to sleep almost face to face with strangers snoring and breaking wind at night!
I am going to finish up this post for now but I will be following it with more pictures from the trip soon!